Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the use and importance of
developmental screening, and recommends that all children receive
standardized screening as a part of well-child care.
and increased policy, no national surveys have assessed whether
pediatricians are using these screening tools. In the study, “Trends in the Use of Standardized Tools for Developmental Screening in Early Childhood: 2002-2009,” in the July 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published
online June 27), an AAP Periodic Survey of Fellows found the
percentage of pediatricians using one or more screening tools more
than doubled between 2002 and 2009 (from 23 percent to 47.7 percent).
Despite this increase, approximately half of the pediatricians
reported that they do not routinely use the recommended screening
tools for patients younger than 36 months. With growing evidence of the
benefits of treatment, early screening is crucial to the
identification of autism and other developmental disorders and
intervention for these disorders. Current initiatives directed toward
professional education, including Bright Futures initiatives, and
improved payment for developmental screening can further promote the
use of these tools in practice.
The American Academy of
Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians,
pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists
dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children,
adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.